interviews with key players in the Liverpool 'Don't Buy the Sun' gig
interviews with key players in the Liverpool 'Don't Buy the Sun' gig

The Don’t Buy The Sun/Justice For Hillsborough/Jamie Mcvey gig/Mick Jones playing Clash songs with pete Wylie and the Farm was one of the special gigs...we compered it and reviewed it, Carl Stanley interviewed the key players…

interviews with key players in the Liverpool 'Don't Buy the Sun' gig
interviews with key players in the Liverpool 'Don't Buy the Sun' gig

When the people of Liverpool feel strongly about some thing they come together & that’s exactly what this proud, passionate rock’n’roll city did last Saturday night at the Olympic Ballroom when they turned out to support the 2 causes of the night, the sad passing of local lad Jamie Mcvey & the relentless call for justice for the Hillsborough 96 by declaring “Don’t buy The Sun”- a simple but very serious statement that was backed up by a classic one off line up of local bands & adopted son of Liverpool for the night, Mick Jones, which turned into a truly electric show for all who came.

We were there interviewing some of the bands & artists involved on the night, The Sums, Ian Prowse, John Power and Peter Hooton

1st up & showcasing material from their new album were The Sums & with Digsy probably writing some of his finest stuff ever & in fine voice the band played a cracking opening performance setting the tone & standard for a great night of live music.

Talking straight after their set about supporting tonight’s event & their new album Digsy & bass player Chris Mullin had this to say

Being one of those involved in supporting this from the start tell me what it means to you…

Digsy- Tonight is in dedication to the memory of Jamie Mcvey and the message of the night is aimed directly at the Sun, “Don’t buy it”.
With The Sun its very much a city thing, they proper insulted our city you know and I mean and I’m not normally political about things really, I just want to play in a band and sing pop songs or what ever but some thing like this goes way beyond football or anything else. Liverpool has come together over this & its the integrity of the city that’s at stake so this is us making a stand against The Sun and supporting the on going fight for justice for the 96 who were lost at Hillsborough.

But our thoughts & respect tonight are with James Mcvey and his family, tragically Jamie was killed not far from where I live as he was walking home from a party singing a Liverpool song (football) and next thing there’s a fight and James was killed, so unnecessary & so so sad but he’s not forgotten and never will be and after the hard work that’s gone into the gig tonight its given us all the chance to show that.
I played at James funeral and that alone, to loose a son is the biggest pain ever and I hope I never go through it though my sister did with her son Daniel when he was 18 so I really do identify with what the family have been through and the band are very honoured to be one of those playing in his memory.’

The Sums were first up tonight so maybe a shorter set than normal but the new material sounded great, like “Scared of missing out” & “Who Cares”…which went down real well…

Chris- ‘Yeah well there’s that many on so you have to cram it in you know and it would of been nice to play a few more tunes, especially as Digsy was the first to be approached to play tonight’s concert and has had a strong connection with the cause since it was initially put together but this isn’t about status or promoting, its about being involved and putting on a great night of music.’

Digsy- ‘As far as the tunes off the new album that was us about 5 yrs ago because we thought it had been lost or destroyed a long time ago, all the material on the album is where we were back then, we’ve written 2 albums worth of material since then and there planned for release next year hopefully but I never stopped writing and putting songs together, but yeah were looking forward to getting this album out and seeing what people think, tonight was a fairly quick set but it was really good to be a part of it, you know.’

Chris-‘ We basically got a call from the studio saying they found the hard drive with the tracks on we recorded 6 yrs ago, for all we knew the tracks had been lost for good.
The songs are old but never been released so in that respect they are still new to people who are not familiar with us.’

It must be good to be getting your material out after all this time, would you say the band have changed much in that time, influences and so on…

Digsy– ‘When I wrote the album I was listening to a lot of Jeff Buckley and when I get into any artists or band that I really like I’m into them, you know what I mean, Jeff Buckley, Tom Petty, who ever it is, I wanna hear all their material and really get to the core of what they do, you know. In fact we’re influenced by all sorts, not just music but film,comedy & so on, it comes from everywhere, we used some Laurel & Hardy audio on one tune and ended up with an e-mail from EMI.
I wrote a tune called “No Where But Home”” which started off with Laurel & Hardy “Now that our troubles are over” you know, in a Southern voice and it was pulled by EMI.’

Chris– ‘I went on The website one day and see an e-mail from EMI stating that, ‘Copyright infringement, we’ve blocked your song because of this Laurel & Hardy sample, EMI own the rights, do you want to challenge it” which would mean going to court but we’ve only got about a tenner between us so that didn’t bother us.’

When’s the album out…

Digsy- ‘We’ve got an album launch at the Zanzibar in Liverpool on the 29th of October then on to a few dates around the UK, its a case of putting together a string of dates rather than a full on tour as were funding a lot of this on our selves which is why its took time to put our album out, with an Industry loan our manager got us as well as recording the album between me and Chris on Pro-Tools we’ve put it together to the best of our abilities but were happy with the result and I’m hoping others will be as well.’

The event was almost the perfect occasion for singer/song writer Ian Prowse who played accompanied by accordion & fiddle performing both Amsterdam & Pele songs like “Raid The Palace”, its Celtic vibe & politically charged message totally befitted the night, also busy with a new “Best of” release Ian spoke just before going on.

Your on very shortly aren’t you, what’s it mean to you to be playing tonight…

Ian ‘Yeah, well I’ve always been a political singer/songwriter you know, of the protest singer tradition so some thing like this is right next to my heart so I’m really thrilled to be here and play tonight and everybody’s come down and no-one’s getting paid because were all 100% behind this, Liverpool has always been ahead of the country knowing how bad The Sun is and its like everyone’s catching up with us, both causes tonight is some thing I’m just very happy to be able to support.’

Being a singer/songwriter who’s written a lot of material over the yrs, from Pele to Amsterdam, what will you playing tonight…

Ian ‘Were going to start off with a song called “Home” which will be dedicated to the 96, were going to do “does this train stop on Merseyside” which is our big song and I’m going to do an old Pele song of mine which is an Anti-Royalist rant which could turn the night into an anti News international rant ..(Laughs)’

what about your plans, anything new with Amsterdam…

Ian- ‘Yeah next April we have “The Best Of Ian Prowse” coming out, its 8 Pele songs 8 Amsterdam songs and 4 new tracks so that will be out next year and they’ll be a full UK and playing the festivals and that, were going out playing as Amsterdam but were playing all of my songs from my entire career and I’m very much looking forward to it.’

and finally is it nice to be playing in front of Liverpool crowd…

Ian ‘Of course but its just as good getting to play in front of Mick Jones because The Clash were my hero’s and its funny because if you look around there’s me, Pete Wylie, James Dean Bradfield if he would of been here and Carl from the Farm and were all only here because The Clash inspired us when we were kids.’

Another much loved Liverpool artist who was there to perform arrived with no guitar or set list, just his support, his enthusiastic spirit and some of those lush melodic tunes he’s known for, a solo spot from John Power had the crowd singing along to “Guiding Star” “Sandstorm” & other Cast favorites.
We talked to John about remembering Hillsborough & the new Cast album.

After the successful Cast 15th anniversary tour of “All Change” has it lead on to anything else for the band…

John ‘Yeah been in the studio and just finished doing a new Cast album with John Leckie ( Stone Roses, The Verve, Radiohead ), we finished it only this Thursday and were going to be touring that in the new year.’

Have you got a name for the album yet…

John ‘‘Bad Waters’ is the title I’m working with, its quite reflective of whats going on today, its funny ironically whats going on in society anyway but with out being cliched you know, about politics and that but you’ll find with ‘Bad Waters’ it says it all, that feeling of troubled thoughts you know, and its also personal as well but reflective of whats going down right now in these troubled times.’

What about sound wise and the feel of the album…

John ‘You know what its very un-forced & really loose and in its place its not like I’m trying dead hard like in the past you do, when you’re a bit younger you try hard.
I mean I’m singing and playing better than I’ve ever done, the band are loose, I’ve got nothing to prove you know what I mean, I’ve only got things to prove to myself and it’s because of that freedom I’ve ended coming out with some thing that could quite possibly be my best work.’

and your set tonight, what you going to play…

‘Well I’ve turned up with no guitar, no set list and I’m just gonna run through a couple of hits for them you know maybe ‘Sandstorm’, ‘Alright’, ‘Walk Away’ and ‘Guiding Star’, just doing a few numbers to show my support you know.

The message of the night is “dont buy The Sun” so how do you feel when you see someone reading it…

John ‘Yeah its funny about the Sun because I’ve got time for most people regardless of what background they are from, whether they are working class or upper class you know. I’ve got time for people but I can’t help it when someone on the train or in a boozer in London or even in Liverpool with the Sun, I just can’t help thinking “nob head” and it churns my stomach and they might be all right, a nice person and be with their kids and all that but if I see some one with The Sun it’s the only time I’ll have a pre-conceived idea of them. If its a bloke I can’t help think there gonna be chauvinistic, small minded and so on but saying that I do try not to but its hard, you know but it may be down to just pure ignorance and not knowing what it stands for, so it’s all about breaking the monopoly Murdoch has over the masses who still buy the paper.’

What about the day of the Hillsborough Disaster, where were you at that time…

John ‘I was actually in the studio with The La’s that day, I would of been there because I used to go to the match a lot but I know people who were lost that day, but everyone in Liverpool, and I mean that, everyone knew some one or someone locally to them. Unfortunately I did loose a good friend and I could of quite easily of been there myself. It could of been me you know so in one way you feel thankful and in another way you feel absolute disgusted because of what happened.

It’s like when you just here it on the radio waiting for the match to kick off and your hearing whats happening and it’s getting worse and the whole thing just rises and rises into this terrible thing, then later you get a phone call from one of your mates saying” Macca didn’t make it” or some thing like that and it gets you a bit upset, you know.’

sorry to hear that,…
looking onwards John what are you looking forward to most regarding the new album…

John ‘I’m looking forward to people hearing the new stuff because they already know the “Alright’s” & all that and you know its great because I’ve made my piece with them again because I didn’t play them for about 10 years, that’s all down to the fact I’ve got a new album and new songs as well so I’m looking forward to it and its going to be great, I can’t wait for people to hear it.’

The Farm’s Peter Hooten has been an avid support/organiser of the concert since day 1 so after all the hard work his night was made by sharing the stage with Mick Jones, which was a personal highlight for the Farm front-man, along with working with Jamie’s dad James this is what the pair had to say.

It’s been a year in the making putting this concert together tonight & you’ve been very much involved since day 1, working behind the scenes to make it happen…

Peter ‘Yeah, I was just one of the organiser’s though but I think tonight just emphases the spirit of the people and the coming together of politicians, groups, people that have traveled a long way like Mick Jones, absolutely fantastic you know. He just said “I wanna do this” no “what hotel am I in” he came up because he wanted to support the cause and for the Justice for the 96.

James Mcvey– Once we got with Peter Hooton and people like MP Tom Watson it just went ful steam ahead, and especially Dave Pichilingi who really made all this come together tonight because he wanted to do some thing for James and so both the causes of night joined up and of course the support we’ve had off the artists has been out standing and has meant a lot to us all, money tonight will be going to the charity “Fazakerley 9” and for a memorial garden for the youth of his community.’


That must be pleasing too have such support for tonight…

Peter ‘Very much, Mick knew and understood the full meaning of the night perfectly (James Mcvey) for a young lad that died in a street attack and when you see the last images of the lad you realise it could of been anyone’s son and Mick totally relates to that because like many others here tonight he has kids of his own.’


and of course you were performing as well tonight, up there sharing the vocals with Mick Jones must of topped your night off…

Well I never knew he wanted me to sing “White man in Hammersmith Palais” but you know I sing it everywhere anyway, any given chance parties, the pub or what ever and to do it with Mick Jones playing guitar next to me, its childhood dreams come true, it was just unbelievable.

Peter Hooton & John Power,, brief comment on the night

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